IT happened 24 years ago, and it is still fresh in the minds of many people, especially those who lived through a disaster which took 26 lives.
On June 14, 1990, a wall of water poured down Wegee Creek, Pipe Creek and Cumberland Run resulting in those tragic deaths.
In his book, "The Flood of Tears," Roger Pickenpaugh said, "the lives of 26 people ranging in age from 6 to 78, were lost, countless others were forever changed. It was indeed a flood of tears and it left in its wake memories of terror, of sudden and horrible loss and in a few cases, of miraculous survival."
That destructive flood ruined houses, other structures, vehicles and infrastructure. Some parts of houses and buildings were carried down the Ohio River to the Hannibal Locks and Dams, Divers searched the Ohio River at the mouth of Wegee Creek for missing people.
The tragedy gained national attention. Monuments were erected in the flood areas in memory of those who died as a result of the disaster.
Engineer Fred Bennett, writing in The County Update, said one of the major tasks following the flood was to get the roads passable for emergency workers to begin search and rescue operations. The department's highway and bridge crews, with the help of the Ohio National Guard, the US Army Reserves, ODOT, local contractors and volunteers began the process of making repairs to accomplish this. Bennett said damages to the roads and bridges was several million dollars, but with financial help from FEMA and OEMA, Natural Resource Conservation Services and the FHWA, the county was able to rebuild its damaged infrastructure. By the late summer of 1991, all repair work was completed.
Let us always remember those who perished in that flood, especially the very young. Let us remember all who died and ask God to grant them eternal rest. May we always be grateful for the tireless efforts of many people who responded and gave of their time , talents and resources to help make whole again the live of those who survived.
None of us can ever know what mother nature has in store for us. We must always be prepared and trust in the goodness of God that something like the "Flood of Tears' never happens again.
SATURDAY is Flag Day and everyone is encouraged to display the Stars and Stripes. This marks the 65th anniversary of the Act of Congress proclaiming June 14 as National Flag Day. We are reminded to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and to show reverence and respect for our flag.
I often recall the article published in the William Penn Life Magazine about Flag Day. It said,"Our flag is more than a patchwork of cloth. It is the silent sentinel of our freedom. It is a constant reminder of that courage required to maintain freedom, the liberty we enjoy in being self governed and the loyalty and trust which unites us despite our individual differences.
"It is good that we honor our nation's flag. for this act helps remind each of us that we are the most blessed to be one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
"And that, fellow Americans, is something worth celebrating."
All of us have a responsibility to ensure that our flag remains the symbol of everything that is good and decent about our great nation.
A U. S. Congressman once said,"we have an obligation to the men and women who serve our country in defense of freedom."
Our regard for the flag is a measure of our honor and respect for those Americans who carried it into battle. It exemplifies or admiration for the pioneers who carried it across our continent and those who transported it to the moon and beyond.
May we draw a deep feeling of patriotism and pride from seeing the photo of those gallant U.S. Marines as they raised the Stars and Stripes over Mt. Sirabachi in that great victory over Japan in World War II.
TODAY is a big one in the Historic Village of Morristown. The village's veterans who served in armed conflicts around the world, especially in World War II, will be honored at a dedication of the World War II Veterans Honor Board at the village park.
The dedication is part of the CommUNITY Day celebration and will take place at the Lynn-Hunkler Memorial Park at 12:30 p.m.
Following the dedication, there will be a visit from the National Pike Wagon Train, sponsored by the Belmont County Tourism Council. The public is invited and encouraged to attend, bring a lawn chair and spend a pleasant afternoon in the park. All events and activities are free, courtesy of the Morristown Historic Preservation Association.
The National Pike Pickers, a Wheeling-based bluegrass band, will perform from 1-4 p.m. There will be inflatable amusements for children of all ages and traditional picnic food will be served.
TODAY is Soap Box Derby Day in Martins Ferry. Let us pray for a bright and sunny rain- free day. We hope a lot of spectators come to cheer for the racers, We wish all of them good luck.
CHILDREN ages 5 to 13, are welcome to attend and bring their bikes for a free safety inspection at the Third Annual Bicycle Safety Rodeo today. The event is sponsored by the Martins Ferry Events Association in conjunction with the Martins Ferry Police Department. Registration begins at 1 p.m. at Butch Miller Quality Motor Cars There will be prizes, free hot dogs and drinks. Free helmets will also be distributed
THE Epworth Park Cottage Owners" Association announced its 2014 Summer Season Kick-Off Concert. The Deep Water Bluegrass band will make their appearance on Saturday, June 14, at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to the outdoor open air auditorium in Bethesda. The concerts are supported by voluntary contributions and the snack bar is open for food and refreshments before and during the show.
THE 1170 Band Concert will be featured on Tuesday, June 10, at the St. Clairsville Recreation Department's Music on the Lawn Summer Concert series. The concerts are free and are held from 7-9 p.m. at the Central Park Amphitheatre at 102 Fair Ave. Those attending are reminded to bring their own seating. No alcoholic beverages are permitted. Individual donations are appreciated. For information on becoming a "Music On the Lawn" sponsor, call Kevin Barr at (740) 695-2037.
CONGRATULATIONS to the students at the Szesko International TaeKwon-Do studio in Martins Ferry for raising $1,675 to benefit St. Jude Children Hospital. They did 49,588 kicks over a two-hour period. "We are proud of our students, black belts and the parents for all their help and support," said Joseph Seszko, owner and instructor. "The hospital always sends us information on the patients and is very much interested in the status of our kick-a-thon." Students at the studio have been holding the annual benefit for St. Jude's for several years.
The Parents' club treated the students to pizza and soft drinks following the event which was held recently.
THE Barnesville Area Education Foundation is seeking nominations for the George G.. Skinner & Lela Skinner Bailey Teaching Development Award also known as "The Extra Mile Award. Any teacher who taught full time during the present school year in Barnesville area schools is eligible for nomination. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,500 for professional development and teaching needs. Deadline is Aug. 1. The winner will be announced during the teachers' in-service day in August.
Nominations can be mailed to the Barnesville Area Education Foundation , P.O. Box 1, Barnesville, Ohio, 43713.